Friday, December 28, 2018

Wash and Go Hair for Black Naturals

"Your hair can't do that"

we were told early on...

lies

fed to us
from our youth

falsehood used to

control us
limit us

but

(in order to understand)

the brevity
the bravery
the beauty

of finally being "Hair Free"

you must first understand

the brokenness resulting
from being conditioned

(yes, pun intended)

to believe that
that with which

you were born

cannot...
will not...
should not...

do "something"
(insert lie of choice here)


Until we grew up and finally learned to reject all of those

myths
misnomers
misstated "facts"

realizing that

what God gave us is

simply
beautifully

ours

and that there is immense

freedom
found in
finally

learning to just
wash and go

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Living The Rich Life

So, you wanna be rich?

chances are
if you are reading this

you already are

let's see...

you have life
you have breath
you have literacy skills

(and apparently internet access)

pretty favorable conditions
when you add it all up

because

being rich has nothing 
to do with $$

but everything
to do with condition

spiritual
emotional
moral

condition

it is ultimately a state of the mind

(but unfortunately, we often do not see ourselves as rich)

instead

we compare
we contrast
we hope
we dream
we lack contentment
we confuse wealth with riches

but...

what if we each found

a way
the way

to live the rich life

with nothing more
than what we already have

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Everyone Needs A Grace Squad

I felt low...

then each one of them
came by and offered

something
of value

family
friendship
sisterhood
freedom
strength

so I

asked them
presented them
introduced them

and grace took over from there

proving just

how...
why...

everyone
needs

a

Grace Squad!
(missing one... but still "Graced Up")

A Season of Thanksgiving

Last year we
let Thanksgiving linger

(read that post here)

because...

Thanks
Giving

is more than just a day

it is

an entire season
an entire lifetime

of

stopping
noticing
noting

saying "thank you"
for...

family
friends
faith

supply
resource
provision

acknowledging
that as...

the world
rushes about

the wind
rushes in

so that each day
we can say "thank you"

for

peace
love
joy

and

(of course)

double
grace

Thanksgiving 2018

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Crunching Leaves (My Thanksgiving Repost)

We held hands
shared apple pie
and crunched leaves

in the hospital courtyard

I believe that it was his way of letting me know it was ok

to...

keep moving
keep living
keep enjoying the moments of life

even though we had to leave her there... again

Doctors were giving up
but 36 years later, and yet she lives



she lives
I live
we live...

all because He lives

This time of year always reminds me
(that just like those leaves)

we are still here for

a reason...
a season...

And as they start 

turning beautiful colors
falling off of trees
and blowing in the wind

they float to a soft landing where they wait for

that final crunch
that final "surrender"
that final "thank you"

Life is like that...

we grow
we mature
we change

and just as we are starting to get the hang of it
it is time for us to let go and sail away with the wind

That's what life and crunching leaves is all about...

understanding and acknowledging

the surrender
the process of dying out to bad habits and old ideas
the letting go of one's self and becoming selfless...

in preparation for that final crunch

We are always reminded of that during this time of year

And as life keeps changing

leaves keep

turning
falling
blowing

I am reminded that I am still here for a reason, a season

and so as they surrender,
so do I

because

I am grateful for...

another day
another chance
another opportunity to

hold hands
share apple pie
and crunch leaves

I'm So Thankful

(originally posted 11/14/13)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Only Thing That Matters

So it goes...

we live
we laugh
we learn

we meet
we share our lives
we build relationships

all because

He lived
He healed
He taught

He introduced Himself
He shared and gave
His life

to cultivate a relationship with us
so we may know Him

Grace Showed Up

and that's all good
that's all great

but at the close of the day

the first thing that will matter
the only thing that will matter

is
if

we have also

cultivated a relationship with Him
so that He may know us

Matthew 7:21-23

Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Invitation to Live

Dear friend
you 

fret about the future
regret things from the past

let too many of

your days
your moments
your lives

slip by without notice

you fail to show grace because
you fail to receive it

But friend
you

cannot control the future
cannot change the past

you do not know what tomorrow will bring
or if it will even come at all

So friend
you

should just commit
to showing up

today

here
now

R.S.V.P
to His invitation to

live
contribute
be

unapologetically
you

fully and completely
whole

John 7:37

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Introducing My "Grace Squad"

I went in low...

felt like the Lord literally propped me up with a stick and said, "wait here"

then moments later
one by one

they each stopped by and
brought something different

and

I decided...
I needed...

to declare them
my official

"Grace Squad"
because everyone needs one


___________________________________________

Stephanie is a Breast Cancer survivor
who lives brave and free
documents grace

and shares it


she represents
resilience, survival, strength
__________________________________________

My good friend Nedra and I share a secret language and

although I never know exactly
what to expect when we are together

I always know exactly
what to expect when we are together

laughter
and love

every
single
time

she represents
sisterhood
___________________________________________

Jillian is...

my younger cousin
my little sister
my "first baby"


so all day
every day 

she represents
family
___________________________________________

Joey and I have been friends since Junior High 

walked home from school together
sent kids to school together

so much history
I cannot tell it all

simply put...

she is one of the strongest women I know and

she represents
friendship
___________________________________________

Bijan's smile and laughter
spreads joy

 
she's a creative visionary

singer
writer
photographer

professional makeup artist

and owner of HER INNER BEAUTY

she represents
beauty and freedom
___________________________________________

These ladies exude grace 
and I am grateful for each of them

This is my "Grace Squad"

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Jesus Smelled Good

She was about three at the time...

the day

my daughter
and I

walked up to the altar
after Bible Class to speak to our Pastor

he saw us coming
and waited for us

The next day as my daughter was preparing for nap
I sat next to her rubbing her back

when just as she dozed off

her

sweet
little
voice

whispered

"Mommy, last night at Bible Class... Jesus smelled good"

I blinked
then smiled

realizing in that brief moment

that she had mixed up

the man with
the message

She thought our Pastor was Jesus
and although I corrected her

that

sweet
little
whispering voice

has stayed with me for years

"Jesus smelled good"

and I realize that she was on to something...

we should all "be" Jesus

as

we live
we work
we interact

passing one another throughout the day

the fragrance of God should be upon us

sweet
fresh
vibrant

to awaken

the senses of those around us
and linger

Monday, October 22, 2018

On One Knee

I knelt on one knee

scrubbing
cleaning
rinsing

our family bathtub

and when I rose
I felt pain

my abdomen
my outer thigh
my shoulder

because I had worked from a bad position

and of course...

Grace Showed Up 

as I thought about

1 Peter 5:7

where we're instructed to...

"Cast all our cares"

because sometimes we

don't
can't
won't

surrender all

and instead we

kneel to pray
seek God
petition for help

and when we get up

we are

still burdened
still weary
still in pain

because we worked from a bad position

as we
knelt only on one knee

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The List You Should Start Today

There's a song we sing...

count your blessings
name them one by one
count your blessings
see what God has done

and I've learned that

blessing counting is a gift

as well as
a lesson

in gratitude
and perception

so I started a list
and invite you to also

stop
think about
record

the unique experiences
that have enriched your life thus far

take time to

count your blessings
and name them

one
by
one
___________________________________________________

"100 Days of Grace"

Saturday, October 20, 2018

An Audience of One

I wrote a song once

recorded it
sang it

online

and was later asked about the size of my platform

because really?

how many of us are...

holding up
holding on
holding in

the "good stuff"
in order to save it for

a larger audience
a larger platform
a larger stage

forgetting that tomorrow is not promised

and the

beautiful
truth
of the matter

is that

God is listening
He hears

(even the heart)

and there is no bigger stage
than His audience of One

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

VolleyBall Lessons: The Power of the Double Block

I got chills when I saw them play together...

my girls

sisters
unified

fighting together

for

a common goal
a victory
a win


Then when they did the "double block"
I almost lost it

hands up
jump up
eyes focused

and

WHAM!

a block that

sent the ball careening back over the net
hitting the floor on the side of the opposing team

to

score
another point

I turned to their mom and said

"it's like having a good prayer partner"

because

when life keeps throwing stuff your way

it's good to have
a sister who

steps up
steps beside

to help you block what the enemy is trying to send your way

hands up
jump up
eyes focused

as we

stand together
pray together
fight together

in unity

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Ask... Seek... See

When you ask to see His glory

you must not only
look up

you must also
look within
____________________________________


Seek God daily
See God daily

Saturday, October 13, 2018

A Good Pressure Wash

I came in with an attitude
and let everyone know...

"sorry guys, I'm not feeling it today"

so they left me alone...

and as I looked out of the window


Grace Showed Up

when I saw what the guys were doing and said

out loud
to myself

"Sometimes we all just need a good pressure wash"

and

that nudge
that word

spoken

softly
sweetly

(like a little "pep talk" to my soul)

was just what I needed
because

sometimes

a little attitude
a little pressure
a little pain

is necessary to help

lift the deep stain
wash and rinse

the dirt away

Friday, October 12, 2018

Release a Praise

You've been holding it in
long enough

holding back

for fear

that others

will not
cannot

accept

the fullness of what you have to bring
the fullness of who you are

but He gently invites

all that is you
to freely

release
unleash

prayers
praise
purpose

without

care

-----------------------------------------------------------
One World Lantern Festival

How will you release?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

How Big is Your God?

No one will notice how big your enemy is...
until you defeat him

No one will notice how big your God is...
until you declare Him



My God is omnipotent!

Comfort in the Pen

We already had...

one in each bedroom
several on the bookshelves
one in each of our cars

and yet

when I walked in and saw this
75 cents thrift store treasure

I knew

it had a home
on my
desk at work

because

His Word needs to be there


I am in a room

surrounded by books
filled with words
on pages

and His

needs to be one of them

"wherefore comfort one another with these words"

and until now I'm not sure I ever really considered that the reason

we read
we write
we post

share
revisit

is because

there is comfort
in the pen

Sunday, October 7, 2018

What's Growing Out of Your House?

Moving so fast that I hadn't noticed...



weeds
growing

from a crack in the wall outside of our home

a song
a praise
a plan

we all have something growing without notice

and whether it's

a sprig of hope
a root of bitterness
growing grace

we must all eventually stop to

identify
acknowledge
address

that which is growing
out of our house

What growing out of your house?

Saturday, October 6, 2018

A Leap of Faith

I was sitting at my desk
minding my own business

when I heard it drop behind me

one
single
piece

of ice

had "jumped" out of the dispenser
and landed on the floor


I went to pick it up and...

Grace Showed Up

"you don't belong here"

but

have you ever?
would you dare?
take a huge leap of faith?

because you would rather

melt

alone
right there
on the floor

than remain

cold
contained
confined

a moment longer

Friday, October 5, 2018

Just Smile

I hadn't planned to write for this prompt...

Fridays are just

so busy now
too busy now

and today
of all days

when my morning routine was

disrupted
interrupted
intercepted

it happened...

in morning traffic
on a tiny side street

as we each slowed down
attempting to squeeze pass one another

she looked up at me
and smiled

so when the next car approached

I looked up
and smiled

the third car
smile

the last car
smile

and in that moment...

Grace Showed Up

because sometimes when your morning routine

is

disrupted
interrupted
intercepted

it is

a reason
a reminder

to

slow down
look up
smile

because even though it feels this path wasn't designed with both of us in mind

we need to share this road


and prove
that there

is adequate space for each of us

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Why Who You Follow on Social Media Matters

Who You Follow on Social Media?


Yep, it matters!

who you follow and
who you allow to follow you

both matter

Here's why...

They Show up in Your Feed

It's called a "feed"
because

the people you follow
are
"feeding you"...

posts
comments
likes

opinions
ideologies
theories

gratitude
grace

rebellion

the algorithms don't lie

and...

You are What You Eat

We become what we consume

peace
proactivity
positivity

is contagious...

negativity
hate
ratchedness

(no, spell check... I did not mean wretchedness)


spreads...

and

the more we devour
the more we crave

sluggish
lethargic
restless
ungrateful

Grandma tried to warn us that...

Friends of Friends can be Fatal

their comments
their influence
their inner circle

may not be for your "good"

so
choose people who

inspire
build up
challenge
encourage growth

choose people who 
make you want to

be
a better
you

street art in Aruba (Summer 2016)

Question...

If Jesus was on social media, would you follow Him?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Believe in Perfect Endings

We arrived
and I was given very clear instructions...

Mommy

no photos
please
no photos

okay?

let me perfect my game first

before you go

all blogging

and posting
and stuff

(who me?)

So I...

sat

in the stands pretending not to take photos
(which is harder than it looks by the way)



and when lunch finally arrived

I ran to the car to get the snacks
and my phone rang...

"You'll never believe who I just ran into"
my dad's jubilant voice on speaker phone...

"Well hello there"
her familiar voice followed...

and

Grace Showed Up


right there
in parking spot 100

providing

just the perfect ending to
just the perfect morning

What will you do with the next 100?
______________________________________________

Here's the photo they sent...

 Who is she?
The beautiful soul who taught BOTH of my children in Kindergarten!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Spiders and Screams

My daughter

screamed
ran out afraid
refused to sleep

in her own room

so I went in...

saw him crawling up the wall
reached over and
snatched him down

with my bare hand

"It's not that serious, girl"

as she looked closer
trying to recognize me

(I hate spiders too)

which made me smile
because 37 years ago Mom said...

"Baby, one day you will hold in your
hand the very thing that frightens you"


Time to open your hand...

Monday, October 1, 2018

This is My Story

Yes (the font is wonky)
No (I'm not going to fix it)

This is my story...

sometimes you are born into a home
sometimes you stumble into one


before this school year began
my incoming Freshman

tried out for
and made

the Freshman Volleyball team and

I was relieved
that she had found a home

a few weeks later
we arrived at the regional tournament excited

quickly pulled into a parking space
and began unloading the car when

I saw it...

one hundred days of grace

and heard...

what will you do with the next one hundred? 

Sometimes it's more than just a parking spot...

w
hen later I counted ahead
and found that Day 100 marked the new year

I felt a renewed sense of purpose

and THEN...





when I saw the invitation for this year's 
31 Days of 5 min free writing challenge

Grace Showed Up

and
I was excited
to have (again) found a home!

So I am grateful for this amazing writing community

because

sometimes you are born into a home
sometimes you stumble into one

and my prayer is that we never grow weary

of telling
of sharing

His Story of Grace

this...

is my story